Google launched Google TV back in 2010, but the platform has not gained the popularity it was expected to. For those who aren’t aware of the platform, Google TV is a Smart TV platform from Google co-developed by Intel, Sony and Logitech. Google TV integrates Google’s Android operating system and the Linux version of Google Chrome browser to create an interactive television overlay on top of existing Internet television and WebTV sites to add a 10-foot user interface.
Google TV looks like a sinking ship to me, but there is no denying of the fact that it has the potential and can become popular if manufacturers support it the right way. The platform is still in its infancy and there is a lot of room for development. Even Android started in similar way, though manufacturers were much more interested in the operating system than they are now in Google TV. ASUS has a crucial role in the Android ecosystem. The company was responsible for the awesome Nexus 7 tablet device that was brought to the market with a modest price tag, thanks to Google. Despite its crucial role, ASUS hasn’t taken a plunge into Google TV so far, until now.
FCC has always been a very good and accurate source for getting to know about new devices that haven’t been launched in the market, and the new hardware which has paid a visit to the FCC this time around comes with a label “Qube with Google TV Dongle”. Given the label, there is no room for mystery on what the intended use is for this component.
It says Google TV Dongle, and looking at the size of the hardware, it seems to be a dongle which would connect to the TV via the HDMI port and turn the existing dumb TV into a smart TV in few seconds. It’s a great news that ASUS is finally coming up with a Google TV product, but the way it is implementing it and intends to bring it to the market is impressive because rather than building a full media hub, ASUS appears to be planning to manufacture a Roku like dongle that would implant Google TV on host device. Several sources are reporting the device to be working via USB, but that doesn’t make sense and it connecting to the host TV via the HDMI port is more meaningful. There is no detailed information about the device, but seems like it will be using RF-based keyboard and touchpad for its main input.
There are some information about the device on the Play Store. An app called O!Mobile Control Center has been listed on Play Store and it has apparently been developed by ASUS and available for Android devices running Android 2.1 or higher. The app suggests that ASUS may be using the Marvell Armada processor to power up the dongle, which incidentally also powers Google TV boxes and the app should be able to offer more control than Google’s official remote app. What are your thoughts on this?